So this is interesting. If I create a scatterplot showing the relationship between participant satisfaction and class size at one of our recent internal conferences, the result is a suggestion that the two are negatively correlated. What’s interesting is that the trend line crosses our historical satisfaction mean (4.2), at about 30 people. That is an interesting number for me because it has long been the threshold that we intuitively feel that a class flips from small to big.
Then I plotted another chart using data from a different internal conference, but for this conference there much relationship at all.
The major difference between the two conferences is that the first was aimed at junior staff, and the second at the firm’s most senior employees. Ah ha, maybe more senior employees have greater self discipline/richer schema/better learning strategies/etc. that make class size less relevant.
I ran the same analysis on a third internal conference, one that cuts across all levels of seniority in the organization. The results were midway between the other two results, which is what you’d expect if the level of the participant is a key factor.
I can’t put too many disclaimers here. Small sample size, lack of statistical analysis, correlation/causation, the weaknesses of satisfaction-based data, and so on. Still, an interesting result to follow up on.